Tag Archives: cardigan

MURDERPIGS: a knitted cardigan


When I took up knitting, I never imagined I’d end up making a cardigan inspired by unorthodox methods of corpse disposal. Then MURDERPIGS happened.

MURDERPIGS was my entry for the 2014 LSG Raveldacted Renegade Games, under the banner of Team Murderpig. Team Murderpig was inspired by the tale of a spurned lover posting his ex-partner’s yarn stash on Craigslist. We couldn’t believe that a knitter would voluntarily part with her stash, and came up with various theories about her disappearance, not least of which was corpse disposal by murderpigs.

(Note: A member of LSG actually claimed this stash, and was not murdered and disposed of by pigs. This is only one datapoint and does not necessarily disprove the murderpig theory.)

Thus Team Murderpig was started, and served as more of an archive of pig and boar gifs than a home for a knitting team. Such is the internet. But LSG knitalong rules are thus: do what you like, take as long as you like, just post about it before the demise of society and someone’ll be along to mash ‘love’ eventually. So we all had plenty of time.

Tweasel, my very own murderpig, acting as mascot, Ravatar, and inspiration for this cardigan.

The idea popped into my head fully formed: stranded colourwork pigs & crossbones, v-necked, steeked front because I was feeling bullish after Little Birds, sleeve setting borrowed from Little Birds. It was one of those moments of beautiful sparkly inspiration when you see the thing in your mind and are just YES THIS IS THE THING I WILL MAKE AND THIS IS HOW TO DO IT AND IT WILL BE PERFECT.

unravelled sleeve

Knitting it wasn’t quite such a smooth process. It was fine for a while, the body took no time at all, but then I moved onto the sleeves. I don’t know if I got the numbers wrong, if I picked up the wrong needle, or if some atmospheric change affected my tension, but I ended up with two sleeves that were Very Wrong. It took me some time to come to terms with the reality of ripping them back, and then even longer to get round to redoing the maths and trying again.

By the time I got back to it, recalculated the sleeves, and got myself back to where I was before The Realisation, I had lost my original notes. I can only guess what I was thinking about at the start of the V-neck shaping. I don’t think the slight curve where the two sides join is intentional, but it works and I like it so I’m not going to argue. Past-me strikes again.

murderpigs on the flat

I didn’t bother to reinforce my steek before cutting it. Live dangerously. It was fine; the Shetland yarn is super-sticky and didn’t give me any trouble at all. The only minor difficulty I got into was that it was harder to trim the steek back before finishing it. I did crochet reinforcements on the last steek, which made it easier to hold on to and to see where to trim. Black yarn possibly not the smartest choice, there.

I didn’t think carefully enough about my pattern positioning, so I have a stray murderpig butt disappearing off the left front, though the piggies do (completely accidentally) line up between body and sleeves. Well, on the front, anyway. And if I’d thought about it and not been all OMGPIGGEH!!!1! I wouldn’t have gone for the black seam stitch.

And finally,


recalculated sleeve

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift
MURDERPIGS project page on Ravelry

paulie cardigan - finished

Finished Object: Paulie cardigan

What to do while one cardigan project is sitting in the corner, refusing to behave?

Easy. Cast on another one. 😀

So. Misbehaving murderpigs were in the naughty corner, and I needed something to help me back on the horse. In last week’s post I believe I termed it a knitting palate cleanser. No nonsense, pick a pattern, follow the instructions, profit.

I needed a change of texture from the scrubby Shetland yarn, so I dug out some lovely soft Drops baby alpaca/silk blend, and a pattern I’d had my eye on for a while. I was so keen to follow the instructions and do as I was told that I even swatched.

gauge swatch for Drops baby alpaca/silk

The pattern is Paulie, by Isabell Kramer. It crossed my radar a little while ago, and I thought it would be perfect for the alpaca/silk which I already had in stash from a moment of weakness faced with an online store sale. I got myself a couple of balls of contrast colour (not on sale, sadly) and it officially went into my queue.

Paulie is a top-down, seamless raglan cardigan, with garter stitch yoke and a simple stripe pattern.

crumpled paulie wip

The pattern’s easy to follow and it knits up fast for a 4-ply. The body came together really quickly, then I had to steel myself for sleeves. Luckily, as it was top-down, they would get faster as I went along.

sleeveless paulie

Paulie was my faithful companion on the beach for lunch and evening drinks with friends and colleagues. It provided some entertainment for the local wildlife too.

seagull staring at my knitting

Of course, the disadvantage of stripes is weaving in all the ends. I was a bit daft – if I’d been thinking straight, I’d have done as I did for my Little Birds cardigan and woven in the ends as I was going along. But I didn’t. I spent a night in the pub – after the garter button band (hate) and i-cord bind-off (haaate), with this carnage:

weaving in ends

But, I was on the home straight, and I had some super-cute buttons with which to finish Paulie, so I forged on.

finished paulie


cat buttons

Like I said, I had forgotten that Etsy was a thing. Now I have an app and oh dear.

True to form, despite wanting to follow a pattern blindly to the end, I did not end up following the instructions to the letter. I increased the number of sleeve decreases, and replaced the garter waist and wristbands with 1×1 rib. Tiny wrists ruin patterns. The yarn is possibly a little bit too drape-y for it – it doesn’t look great in garter stitch – but it’s so lovely and soft I forgive it everything.

Now it’s done, I feel revitalised and ready to face murderpigs again.



Paulie – project page on Ravelry

:panicflail: #2

I think I have a problem.

I told a story the other day about not being able to find the rest of my yarn.

I’m now faced with an equally terrifying prospect: I might not have had enough of it in the first place.

For probably the first time in my knitting life, I trusted a pattern. From sizing, to yarn brand, down to the exact quantity of yarn. Seven of the base colour, two of the birds, one of the leaves. Easy. Fine. None of the other project pages said anything about stingy yardage allowances.


I’ve done the body.

Little Birds, first chart done. #knitting

I’ve done a sleeve.

One sleeve... #knitting

Actually I’ve done a sleeve and a half, but I haven’t taken any pics of the second sleeve because I covered it well enough with the first one.

Half a sleeve. #knitting

But… I’m on my last 25g skein of the base colour. I have half a sleeve, the shoulders, and the not-button band to finish. I am bricking it. I really don’t think I have enough. I searched the house for all the ball bands (hurr) to make sure I had counted right and hadn’t lost a ball (hurrr) somewhere around the house. I have, haven’t, and this really is all I have left.

I know there’s nothing to do but keep knitting and deal with the situation as it comes, but it’s really nerve-wracking.

Do you have any comforting words for me? Please?

WIP Wednesday: 17/04/13

Definitely need a better naming scheme for WIP Wednesday.

Anyway, welcome to this nth edition of WIP Wednesday.

Still mainly three projects keeping me going through these delicious Spring days.

Spring Shawl:

This is getting there. At last. I’m on to the outer edging now so whargarbl excitement. Probably five more rows, then cast-off and blocking. Might finally invest in some blocking wires as I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

Shawl is on final 6 rows! #knitting

unnecessarily twee spring shawl on Ravelry

Orange cardigan:

Getting there as well. Probably needs a couple more inches on the sleeves, then I can do the rib detail. Then I can see how much yarn I have left, finish the lower edge rib, then pick up the button band. You might think this is unnecessarily complicated; well, it probably is. This is what happens when you buy yarn in totally random quantities and don’t do any calculations before you decide on a design. 😀

And the cardigan is looking pretty good too. :D #knitting

oxide cardigan on Ravelry


And even this is going quite well. It’s all in one piece, I’ve added waist facing (I did the best understitching of my life on that waistband, I’m super-proud), and now I need to do the fastening, hem the bottom, and probably add a lining because it sticks to tights like you wouldn’t believe. Not sure whether to use the icky polyester lining I originally bought for it or to splash out on something a bit fancier. My heart is drawn to silk but I’m not sure. Decision for another day.

Skirt is coming along nicely. #sewing

fancified pencil skirt on MSC

And there we go. A goodly amount of progress over the last couple of weeks. Now imagine what I could do if I hadn’t lost entire days to rubbernecking internet drama. 😉

WIP Wednesday: same title as last week (damn)

Last week’s title being ‘oxide cardigan plus WOOORDDDDSSSS‘, in case you weren’t here for that one.

Oxide cardigan:

Going well, though it doesn’t actually look much different to last week.

Cardigan is getting there! #knitting #WIP

Still, it’s just about time to start the bottom edge ribbing. I’m thinking something like mistake rib, just to be a bit more interesting than boring old 1×1. But then I’m not sure how I’d do the tubular cast-off and I just don’t know if I can cope without a tubular cast-off.

I’m also approaching the classic panic-point of omg omg am I going to have enough yarn left to do the sleeves halp. This is the point at which the whole thing might end up stuffed into the cupboard with all my other WIPs.

Gameface on. I can do it. The most important thing is to get the ribbing and the button band done. If I end up with short sleeves, I end up with short sleeves.

Why yes I am whimpering like a dog who’s heard the word ‘bathtime’.


My NaNoWriMo story has run face-first into a wall and is now sliding slowly down the brickwork. I should be able to get the last 5000 words out before it hits the floor, but it’s going to hurt. I also reached the zenith of my blogging career by writing a series of blog posts about… blogging. I HAVE MADE IT. Soon I’ll be able to do posts about blogging, posts about blogging about blogging, and ‘this time in this blog’s history’ posts and never have to produce a piece of original content ever again.

Actually, that would suck. I won’t do that. 😀

WIP Wednesday: oxide cardigan plus WOOORDDDDSSSS

I realised this morning that I’d neglected to take any photos of my current project. In fact the Rav page was entirely blank.

Time to fix this.

first photo of this WIP, oops. #knitting #wip #orange

This is a V-neck, raglan-sleeved cardigan (codename: Oxide), in a blend of 50/50 wool/cotton. It is going to have pockets and sparkly buttons.

I’ve been working on this for about a month, but due to NaNoWriMo, progress has been fairly slow. At first glance, knitting might seem incompatible with writing, but I’ve spent a lot of time with it on my lap, picking it up to do a dozen stitches while pondering a suitable word. It’s sort of a comfort blanket, really. Good for deflecting inner editor attacks. And cold legs.

You may remember my initial post about this cardigan, in which I demonstrated my typical, concise, pattern notation. Well, I’ve never met a pattern I haven’t changed, and this is no different. I discovered that I had mis-under-estimated my upper arm measurements, so had to amend for that. I also tweaked the neck shaping to give it more of a scoop, instead of the plain V I was initially planning.

ball o' yarn on my shoulder. totally not weird. #knitting #wip #orange

Looks like I’ve managed to get the underarm C/Os right. The past couple of raglan sleeves I’ve done, I’ve had to cast on too many stitches under the arms. They fit, but they don’t lie flat or fold very well. I think this (only four stitches cast on) will do nicely.

Other projects:

You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but NaNoWriMo is still ongoing and I’m still ahead. In fact I broke 40,000 words last night, which was nice. The end is in sight. Now if only I knew what was supposed to happen at the end of the book. sigh

Let’s not mention sewing. cough

Also the socks and shawl are still around. Somewhere. I think. cough again

So. How’re your WIPs treating you?

tl;dr design

I’m currently working with my other half while his company goes through a startup accelerator program. While he codes and strategises, I’m writing his blog for him.

He’s been working well into the evening, so while I’m waiting for him to get finished, I’ve been doing a lot of thumb-twiddling, internet-browsing, and generally adding to my encyclopaedic knowledge of memes.

Last night, as I was giggling at the newest addition to that knowledge (Cat Bounce), I suddenly realised what I was doing wrong.

I was not knitting.


So this morning, I carted a big bag of delicious yarn into the office, knitted myself a gauge swatch, and did some maths. Here’s what I ended up with.


Twenty lines. Love it.

This is going to be the cardigan with the sparkly buttons I posted about back in March. Top-down, raglan-sleeve, v-neck. Standard-issue except for the zomgawesome buttons and POCKETS. Though it currently lacks – well, any info at all – here’s the Ravelry page.

Looking forward to the 5pm slump onto the beanbags a bit more than I was yesterday. 😀

FO Friday: Leek

If nothing else, the photography session was worth the wait. I decided to go ALL OUT, makeup and everything, so naturally I had to answer the door partway through. Jehovah’s Witnesses, bless ’em. They gave me a pamphlet with a moose on it and scampered away from the crazy lady with a camera and too much blusher. XD

Anyway. Here it is. Leek!

leek: finished!

Top-down, raglan, mainly stockinette cardigan done on 3mm needles in an acrylic/wool blend. It was originally intended to be sleeveless/cap sleeve but at some point I obviously decided that this was not what I wanted. Possibly after making my peacock eye cardi, possibly after I found myself wearing wristwarmers in July.

Here’s the front detail which was totally intentional and not due to a miscalculation at all, oh no.

leek: front detail

OK, I confess, I was aiming for a deep V-neck but put the bottom of the V far too high. I like it this way, though, it’s actually the perfect place to have that single button. That was deliberate – I very rarely do up more than a couple of buttons on cardigans, and I really wanted to use the last of these mother of pearl buttons (previously used in this cardigan).

leek: back view

The underarms are a bit baggy due to picking up too many stitches when dividing the sleeves from the body. Also the whole using-3mm-needles-after-swatching-on-2.75s thing. Still; not terrible. I suspect it’ll balance out as it lengthens after a bit of wear.

I normally hate photographing finished objects but for some reason this session was hilarious. My camera has a double-timer setting – it pauses 10 seconds before the first picture, then another 3 or so before the second. The lighting often comes out better on the second shot, but I almost always mistime it and end up with a shot of blurred movement or daft expressions.

My best duckface:

leek: now with bonus duckface

‘wtf is that? is that a feather? Damn that red boa.’

leek: feather removal

I don’t even know what’s going on here.

leek: distracted by own backside

You can see all the pics associated with Leek under this Flickr tag, and some of them on the Ravelry project page.

WIP Wednesday: Leek

Hey! I remembered WIP Wednesday on an actual Wednesday! Woo!

I am a large part of the way through Leek now. Unfortunately, all the good bits are done, and I’m now on to the sleeves. I thought I was being smart by doing the button band early. Nope.

Note to self: sleeves are not an afterthought. In fact long sleeves comprise about 1/3 of the total area of fabric being knitted. Stop kidding yourself, and factor them into the knitting time.

Fortunately, iPlayer is full of awesome Shakespearean stuff at the moment, so I have plenty to watch while I knit. I got a good 6″ of sleeve done while watching Richard II, the first instalment of the Hollow Crown series (here’s an iPlayer link, if you’re in the right country, highly recommended), so I’m looking forward to the Henries. Though I will be amazed if I manage to tear my attention away from the screen long enough to get my decreases in the right place. Fine actors prancing around the screen, absent-mindedly chewing on scenery and declaiming their hearts out.

Back to the WIPs.


It’s taking shape, though a slightly different one than I intended. I complained a while back that my gauge changed completely between swatch and project, and I’m ending up with a cardigan bigger than I wanted. I fear I know why that occurred. I am currently using a 3mm needle, but I think I did the swatch on a 2.75mm. Oopsie. Still, it’s not looking bad for it.

Technically I have another couple of sewing WIPs in the form of the dress that I outgrew while making it, and the dressing gown I started in sunnier times and then put aside because thinking is hard. But the dress is going to have to wait until I can fit my backside back in it (note to self: this is why you need to run more), and the dressing gown… well, thinking is hard.

Also, as a non-fibre-artsy WIP, I have the next story for Short Story Saturday/Sunday written and awaiting some pruning because at 2000 words, I think it’s a bit long. I mean, that’s fine for a story, but far too long for a blog post. I see red pen and dramatic sighs in my future. Wish me luck!

A burst of activity.

Hey look, another project that took more than six months to finish.

*whistles, looks to sky, scuffs foot on floor*

For once, though, I am finishing it in time for the appropriate season.

This is a Peacock Eyes Cardi by Justyna Lorkowska, which I spotted while desperately searching for something to do with a bagful of Rowan 4-ply milk cotton.

peacock front

It’s a great pattern, simple and intuitive, and in my favourite pared-down style – no line-by-line instructions here. Despite the small needle size, it knitted up pretty quickly (when it wasn’t jammed in a drawer, of course) and it came out exactly as expected, with no alterations required.

There’s only a couple of things that bother me about the finished object; one is that my pattern-arranging obsessive side thinks the peacock eye stitch pattern doesn’t lend itself well to the increasing around the yoke as provided in the pattern. As you can see, the bottom row here doesn’t quite look right, as it’s squashing the curves that it’s supposed to be enhancing:

peacock pattern detail

If I were to do it again, I’d probably stretch out the pattern to make sure that each eye lined up directly underneath the previous row. Did I mention that I was obsessive?

The other thing is that I’m getting epic gaping between the buttons. It’s not helped by the fact I had half as many buttons as I needed (must fix that), and I know cotton is less springy than wool, but I’d be tempted to switch the vertical rib for a horizontal, picked-up rib to give it a bit less room to stretch.

Speaking of the yarn, a couple of comments. I like it; it has good stitch definition and was nice to work with. Having said that, it leaked a huge amount of dye when I washed it before blocking, which is a bit worrying, and it does smell a bit… sour. Hopefully both of these things will calm down after a few washes.

So there we go, a spring/summer cardigan finished just as spring arrives. Like a boss.

eta HERP forgot the Ravelry link.